Sunday

18th Aug 2019

Focus

Russian gas project splits Swedish politicians in Gotland

  • Representatives from Region Gotland as well as Karlhamn Municipality in Blekinge are scheduled to meet foreign minister Margot Wallstroem on Tuesday (Photo: nord-stream.com)

Local parties in Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea, are split over renting harbour facilities for the Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Representatives from Gotland and from Karlhamn, a municipality in southern Sweden that is also considering to rent port facilities, are to meet Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstroem and defence minister Peter Hultqvist on Tuesday (13 December).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Nord Stream 2 is to pass through Swedish and Finnish zones and through Denmark's maritime territory. (Photo: Nord Stream)

The Russia-controlled Nord Stream consortium wants to lease a pier at the Slite harbour in Gotland to build a new gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Russia already built the structure, nicknamed Putin Pier by locals by reference to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, to handle steel tubes for the first Nord Stream pipeline, which was inaugurated in 2011.

Gotland’s Social Democrat-led local government and its left-wing allies want to rent the facility again in a deal worth €3-6 million.

"This is a commercial company that wants to hire our port. We see no other aspects to this. It worked well last time and we are prepared to do it again," Bjoern Jansson, the Social Democrat local leader told Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish newspaper.

He said the Moderate and Liberal parties opposed the plan because they wanted Sweden to join Nato and that Gotland’s residents had no objections to the project.

The four centre-right parties approved the Nord Stream 1 contract back in 2009.

They changed their mind on Nord Stream 2 due to the new security environment in Europe, created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and by its military build-up behaviour in the Baltic region.

"The government must put its foot down and acknowledge that this harbour is of strategic importance and should therefore not be used in this way. Local politicians can not make such decisions about security," Eva Nypelius, from the Centre Party in the Gotland regional assembly said, according to Dagens Nyheter.

Nord Stream 2 is to pass through Finnish and Swedish maritime economic zones and through Danish territorial waters in the Baltic Sea.

The 1,200-km pipeline is to be majority-controlled by Russia’s state owned gas firm Gazprom, with EU energy firms Basf, E.On, Engie, OMV, and Shell as minority stakeholders.

It would make Germany the main entry point for Russian gas to Europe, bypassing Ukraine and Poland and harming their energy security, its critics say.

It would also entail Russian military access to the new infrastructure, posing a security risk in the current environment, the Swedish military has warned.

Russia formally applied for Sweden’s permission to go through its maritime zone in September.

Nordic states, Poland, and the Baltic states have called on the European Commission to make an EU-level decision on whether Gazprom’s monopoly of the pipeline complies with EU single market law, however.

Poland has also taken legal action against parts of the project at the EU court in Luxembourg, amid concerns that Russia and Germany could bully individual EU states, such as Sweden, to give the green light, or shift the Nord Stream 2 route into international waters to avoid Nordic states’ regulators.

Letter

Nord Stream 2 sets record straight

The choice of Nord Stream 2's logistics hub in Sweden was driven by the award-winning green logistics concept of the first Nord Stream project, and not by any political motivations.

News in Brief

  1. Trump turned down: Greenland not for sale
  2. UK Libdems would back Clarke or Harman as new PM
  3. Six countries agree to take 'Open Arms' ship migrants
  4. Gibraltar judge: Iranian ship should be released
  5. Increasing fears of a global recession
  6. Far-right hate crimes on the rise in Germany
  7. EU steel tariffs have 'worked well' so far
  8. Italian court: Migrant rescue ship can enter Italian waters

Stakeholder

Climate policy in Nordics: how to maximise global impact?

To maximise the global impact of climate policy, Norwegian economists recommend a shift of focus - from national emissions reductions, to clean technology development and better use of international emissions-trading systems, notably EU market mechanisms.

Supported by

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings
  2. EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock
  3. Internal EU paper: Second Brexit vote was no longer 'distant dream'
  4. EU has 'zero incentive' to break open 'trilogue' deals
  5. Denmark plans import ban on EU-approved pesticide
  6. US offers Johnson helping hand on Brexit
  7. Italy: New government without Salvini in the making
  8. Brexit row delays financial products transparency review

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us